Find, grab, and run—a shoplifter’s modus operandi? No, actually an in-a-hurry consumer using a mobile self-checkout app in a retail store. As the following TechCrunch story reports, Standard Cognition is expanding its technology resources through a recent acquisition.
The big question Standard Cognition’s customers are asking are whether autonomous checkout is cost-effective, simple for customers to understand, and won’t let shoplifters destroy their margins. That means minimizing installation fees, perfecting onboarding and instruction, and recognizing the difference between someone putting an item back on the shelf versus into their jacket. The startup believes that done right, human cashiers can be repurposed as concierges that help customers find what they’re looking for and buy more without having to stand in line.
And so Standard Cognition is pushing as fast as it can build a lead and brand by giving independent retail stores and chains the firepower to fight off Amazon. Standard Cognition will also have to outcompete fellow autonomous checkout startups like ex-Pandora CTO Will Glaser’s Grabango, which announced it’d raised $12 million today. Grabango now has signed deals with four U.S. retail chains up to 25,000 sq ft in size and has 37 employees. There’s also fellow Y Combinator startup Inokyo with a pop-up shop in Mountain View; and Trigo Vision that has a deal with an israeli grocery chain for more than 200 stores.
So the race is on to become retailers’ preferred technology for mobile self-checkout. While Amazon Go has received the lion’s share of headlines with its 2018 introduction in C-store type venues that use an array of cameras and sensors, other mobile self-checkout systems are in the marketplace too. For example, Sam’s Club uses a Scan and Go mobile app in over 400 stores. Then there’s Future Proof Retail that has a white label app for retailers. 7-Eleven is piloting a scanning system as well. Standard Cognition is betting on a camera-based system for larger footprint stores compared with the average C-store. Expect merchants to be watching very closely to decide when and with whom to take the plunge.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group